An Occasional Tyger by Carl P. Morton

Copyright 1977
Checked out 2 times in 33 years (acquisition unclear)
Last checked out 8 years ago

This is a book by the 5th poet laureate of Alabama. Otherwise, I would recommend letting it go. But since it has special significance to our state, I believe it should be kept on the shelves. The poems are a mixture of formal and free verse reflections on everyday life and flights of imagination and combinations of the two. The variety helps to hold a person’s interest. This is another of those books on the shelves that might get read more if people knew what it contained. Here is one beginning to a lovely poem:

She fluttered by, a girl-moth of silk and down
with honeyed wings that had not yet kissed
one flame! And I, a stranger on the town
and prisoner within my car, just missed
calamity between a bus and a sigh.

And from another poem:

Two days are left to burrow
inside the consciousness
of conscience, like a seaman
crouched in the hold observing
all the cracks and seeps
which must be newly caulked,
the bilge to be pumped dry

Or this marvelous characterization from another:

Old Aunt Aggie,
witching crone,
black of skin
and skin to bone,

poking into
garbage cans
with knotted stick
and palsied hands

So I say keep it on the shelves and hope that some day the people of Albertville rediscover and appreciate one of their own Alabama poets.


About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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